Congress Day 2


Suzy Hazelwood via Compfight

Another long day but very worthwhile. No fast food for breakfast instead fruit salad with yoghurt and some coffee from the cafeteria at the conference centre. Earlier start today with announcements then half an hour from one of the sponsors, Ancestry. Looks like there will be some new ideas coming through with both DNA and the site itself.

Plenary session: Just three generations with Judy Russell
Judy spoke about how important it is to tell the stories in the family but the stories need to be accurate and proven. Otherwise stories from families will be lost within three generations.  I have no idea of my maternal grandmother’s favourite book.

She suggested we follow the genealogical proof standards

  1. Reasonably exhaustive search
  2. Complete source citations
  3. Analysis and correlation of evidence
  4. Resolution of conflicts in data
  5. Soundly reasoned written conclusion

Since completing the UTAS course, I am certainly following these steps in greater depth and starting to write the story of just one person at a time instead of looking at lots. But can be hard to get the emotions from people past in stories, so it is very important to gather what you can now while the elders in the family are still alive and can pass on those stories to you.

Poor Law in England and Wales with Paul Blake

I knew a bit about poor law and workhouses from researching some of my convicts but learnt a lot from this session. Mainly reasons why settlement places could change from the place where the poor person was born. I did not know about the apprenticeship being a reason to change settlement place. I was amazed at the amount of records available but many of these are at the local government record offices so would involve a trip to England or hire a researcher. Which one do you think I would prefer?

Uncovering your Irish Roots with Pauleen Cass

I think we can all agree that research in Ireland can be difficult but Pauleen says to make sure you have researched everything in Australia first as there might be subtle clues in obituaries or wedding certificates and so on that could lead you closer to the townland or parish your relatives came from in Ireland. Once you have as much as you can from Australia, there are more resources coming online for Ireland every day.

Here are three sites I use:  Irish GenealogyRoots Ireland and Irish Genealogy toolkit

Pauleen also mentioned that the blog of John Grenham was worth following as he mentions new records as they become available.


The second Plenary session was held after lunch and was by Angela Phippen on Oops! I wish I had checked the original

This was looking at the book called The Letters of Rachel Henning which had been published by the Bulletin as well as multiple runs by other printers. It was only when Angela looked at the original letters that she saw what had been edited before being used in the printed versions. The unedited version told a totally different story about the Henning and Hedgland families.

Google .. more than just a search with Michelle Patient

I use most of those Google tools mentioned in this session but I know I should make more use of newspapers and books. The one tool I have not used is Keep, but as that is relatively new, I have an excuse. I love using Google docs for collaboration around the world such as all the participants in the student blogging challenge I run twice a year. I think being a globally connected teacher for many years has helped.

My last session for the day was with Kerry Farmer DNA a modern tool to solve historical puzzles

I am only just getting into using DNA but I understood most of what was mentioned in this session. I learnt more about using X DNA but not sure if this will help with dad’s side of the tree. Need to make more use of the fan template for X DNA but I use the Shared cM Project often.



Congress day 1

UTAS DipFamHist at Congress 2018

Long day starting with a 20 minute walk to breakfast at a fast food place. All this walking to and from Congress is going to keep me fit.

Picked up my bag of goodies, including the important program. Planned my day using the booklet rather than fiddling around with the ipad. Headed to Cockle Bay Room where all the sessions I wanted to attend were going to be held.

A great day of family history also included our photo session on the steps of the International Conference Centre for the UTAS contingent, Sorry a few missed out but Lis is going to photoshop them in at a later date.

Sessions I attended today

Tarting up my blog with Jill Ball @geniaus

I felt my family history blog was doing quite well except I don’t have a header relating to my blog title.  It can be very difficult to find headers that are creative commons relating to the purpose of my blog. Might need to do a bit more research on this – would love to find one with old time ships from the early 1800s sailing across the oceans.

My navigation bar helps with things that wont change such as how to comment, reason for the blog and a bit about me. The sources from the Diploma of  Family History may be added to by either me or through comments from my readers.

My readers can use the tags or categories or archives to find posts relating to their interests but maybe I need to include a basic search widget. I have also needed to add one of these to my student blogging challenge blog.

My audience for my blog are mainly family or those students who have taken part in the UTAS Diploma of Family History. I advertise the new posts in the relevant Facebook groups for DipFamHist but rarely use Twitter or Pinterest, so I haven’t included any social media links on the blog.

Thanks Jill for a great session

Searching at the NAA with Judith Paterson, Rachel Cullen and Paivi Lindsay

I am so used to just doing a record search or passenger search that I may have missed other records held at the National Archives Australia. We learnt about how records were categorized and how knowing an agency or government department where your records might be, can help you find those unusual resources. Using advanced search and then searching by agency, series and items rather than a general name search. Might need to see if I can find more about my step grandfather Mikolaj Hrydziuszko other than his naturalization certificate.

Loved the way they used an example of one person and showed how they found documents as well as audio visuals and images relating to their research person.

Traversing TROVE with Cheney Brew

This was interesting in that I usually only use the newspapers in Trove but there are so many other records held at the National Library of Australia that can be accessed through Trove. Might need to check out some of their other sources. The other UTAS students sitting near me when we saw the video made about one of the research people, said it was like the annotated maps we did for the Diploma.

Convict records in VDL, NSW and WA with Dianne Snowden

Dianne did  a great job summarising all the convict records in these three states. As a convict researcher, you need to know the name of your convict, ship he came on and when and where he was sent to as there are differing records in each of the three states. One person in the audience was lucky enough to have a convict from each state –  Jacqui Brock from our UTAS group.

Many convict records are now appearing on Ancestry and FamilySearch but remember to check the National Library of Australia where they have links to convict records around Australia.


Ready for Congress 2018

New Titles

Melinda Stuart via Compfight

What is Congress 2018 and what does it have to do with family history?

Every three years, congress is held somewhere within Australia. It is a chance for Australian genealogists to go to a great conference, make connections, give out business cards, maybe meet some rellies also interested in family history and most importantly, go to some presentations on all things genealogy. All conferences also have an exhibitors area where often freebies are given away.

So looking at the program, lots of DNA related sessions, researching poor law in England, Irish genealogy as well as typically Aussie research using our repositories like National Library Australia and National Archives Australia.  So far I don’t think I have any sessions overlapping.

  • Dianne Snowden is presenting on convicts and becoming a professional genealogist. Think I might attend these.
  • Jill Ball @geniaus presenting on tarting up your geneablog and also on free tools for genealogy. I will be going to these sessions.
  • Might also attend some DNA sessions by Helen Smith.
  • Poor law, Irish genealogy and using Trove well look interesting as well.

Will write some more posts throughout the conference.

Readers: What type of session would you like to attend at a genealogy conference? What questions would you have about your topic?

Some more great blog posts

While I am tidying up the links on the sidebar and moving the #52ancestors to a new page in the header area, I have come across some great posts. Here are ten I found interesting:

BarbaraG had some great heirloom glasses as in those you wear on your nose

Belinda solved some mysteries from the census

Brenda had great memories of her Valentine

Celia had some unusual names in her family

Charlene had some unusual spellings in the census

Dan looks at naming patterns for surnames

Darlene thinks about romance

Debbie had an unusual heirloom

Denise tells story of a water pitcher

Erin did some statistical work for longevity

Readers: When you have been visiting blogs for the #52ancestors challenge, have you found an interesting post? Perhaps leave a comment and include the link to the post you enjoyed?

John Davey – but which one?

As soon as I saw this prompt from #52ancestors, I knew who this post was going to be about.

Two groups of people arrived in Van Diemens Land in the 1800s – convicts and free settlers which included military. The government in Great Britain at that time was great for record keeping, at least for the convicts. From the time of their trial, through transportation, their offences, who they worked for, their freedom and any offences after freedom.

But it was a different story for the free settlers – you will get a ship passenger record, BDM records then if they did something worth recording it might be in a newspaper.

So the background to my John Davey and how the census fits into the story.

Like all good genealogists, you always start with yourself and work backwards generation by generation. My maternal grandmother was a Davey, her father George Davey and his father John Davey – my problem free settler.

John Davey died aged 55 on 26 December 1888 of jaundice.[1] He left no will but his wife Annie Davey (nee Dixon) took on the administration of his estate and chattels etc. In her letter to the Supreme Court of Tasmania, she believed that the cost of his estate did not exceed 687 pounds. Two of her sons, George and William John, helped organize an inventory of the property of her deceased husband.[2]

John Davey and Annie Dixon were married at the Manse at Evandale, Tasmania on 18 July 1859. John was a bachelor aged 26 while Anne was a spinster aged 18. Witnesses to the marriage were Hannah Dixon and William Costley.[3]

Over the next 29 years until John died, the couple raised seven sons and five daughters to adulthood. They lived in English Town, near Evandale, Tasmania. The photos show the house and the newspapered walls inside the house as taken in 1987. At least two generations lived in this house including my grandmother.


So far we have a death record showing John born around 1833, a marriage record also showing born around 1833 but we don’t have a birth record anywhere. My cousins in New Zealand have a birthday book owned originally by Hannah Selina Davey, daughter of John and in it is mentioned the date 21 January 1834 as the birth of John. But how to prove this and where was John born?

There was no marriage permission found in the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office records so neither John nor Anne were convicts at the time of their marriage.  With the last Tasmanian convicts arriving in 1853 when John would have been about 20 and the shortest sentence being 7 years, this means if John had been a convict he would have arrived in the 1850s. Searching the records, no John appears. Hence he must have been a free settler or born in Tasmania.

Next I searched the arrivals index for John Davey or Davy – 3 were there – one in 1833 so I could rule him out, one in 1855 and the other Davy in 1856. As my John had always used an ‘e’ in his surname, I looked into this person arriving in 1855 as my great great grandfather.

This John was born in Devon, England. He was brought out to Tasmania as a farm servant to George Meredith on the East Coast of Tasmania.  John was Church of England and could read and write. He arrived in Hobart Town on 13 February 1855 on board ‘Wanderer‘.[4]  John was occasionally mentioned in the ‘Meredith papers’ which are housed in the State Library Archives in Hobart.  He was recorded last at ‘Cambria‘ in January 1857.  His wages at this time were 7 pounds and 10 shillings per quarter.[5]

This is where the census now comes into my story.

Looking at the 1851 English Census there were over 50 possible John Davey born around 1834. This did not include any name variations. How was I going to narrow it down? I began this research back in 1990 while on holiday in England and spent hours at the Devon Record Office checking out marriages and deaths between 1851 and 1855 when John came to Tasmania. This was mainly using microfilm, microfiche and books. Since that visit and using online records, I have narrowed it to a possible 8.

I still have more research to really verify my John Davey BUT:

Four are sons of a family, one is a nephew and three are servants – a farm servant, a house servant and an ag lab.

On the shipping record, my John was a farm servant – so maybe I have narrowed it down to one now.

This John Davey who was a farm servant was aged 17 in the 1851 census. His birth place was Collumpton, Devon. He was working for Humphrey Pitts at Garlanshayes, Tiverton, Devon.[6]

Maybe the modern technology of DNA will help me narrow my search even further. My mother has two pages of matches with Devon in the birth location but with the surname of Davey in the tree, only 8 matches and I already know where they fit on my tree. Maybe when more people add their trees, I might find that elusive John Davey in Devon.


[1] Death records, RGD35/1/57 no 227, Tasmanian Names Index

[2] Wills, AD961/1/7/1599 p 665, Tasmanian Names Index

[3] Marriage records, RGD37/1/18 no 712, Tasmanian Names Index

[4] Shipping records, CB7/12/1/3 Book4 pp 152/153, Tasmanian Names Index

[5] Meredith papers,  NS 123/1/69,  TAHO

[6] 1851 English census, HO/107/1888, Folio 138, page 4 FHL film:0221038

Readers: How have you found the records of free settlers compared to convicts in your family? How has a census or muster or electoral roll helped in your research?

More great reads

I know many of my readers are new to blogging, so I thought I would share some posts from other bloggers taking part in the #52ancestors. Their posts are varied, some not even the traditional type of family history research post. Many vary in their style of writing – some sound like you are talking face to face with the blogger.

This first group of posts are from comments left on Amy Johnson Crow’s Facebook page

  1. Myra is looking for her 105 year old 5x great grandpa
  2. Jan has a very easy reading style and has not mentioned any dates in her post
  3. Marian looked at which grandparents met their grandchildren or vice versa.
  4. Bernie included memories from other family members
  5. Kristin includes lots of photos and memories
  6. Louise makes great use of Trove to fill in the story of her ancestor
  7. Cindi includes an image of life expectancy through the ages
  8. Julie looks at longevity as staying in the same state for a long time
  9. Roberta looks at information leapfrogging through generations
  10. Susan looked at the oldest document she had as part of longevity

This second group of posts are from members of the alumni group for UTAS DipFamHist

  1. Shane has bolded those links that take you to more information on the web
  2. Margaret includes a verse written by an ancestor
  3. Heather (Bleggy) has a way with words and I notice her post has been included in Friday Fossicking
  4. Claire relates to something mentioned in a lecture this week regarding life expectancy
  5. Darlene has divided her post into some interesting sub headings to make it easier to read
  6. Marcia looks at longevity as being a long road in research
  7. Claire is using lots of sources in her post – great that readers can then follow her research links

Readers: Have a read of a couple and remember to leave a comment on their blog. If you want come back here and comment on mine as well.

My dinner party

#52ancestors theme for week 4 is ‘Invite to dinner’  I knew exactly who was coming to my dinner party.

William Chandler and his wife Caroline Chandler nee Bryant and John England and his wife Rebecca England nee Jackson are my great great grandparents on my mother’s paternal line.

I have already written some posts about William and Caroline as well as others on John and Rebecca.

But the reason I want to ask them to dinner is I have a lot of questions to ask them. I have settled for three questions per person.


  • Where exactly were you born and when?
  • Who are your parents?
  • Did you know Caroline and her family before you came to Tasmania in 1855?


  • Who was your father and what was your mother’s maiden name?
  • What happened to Charles before you and your mother came out to Tasmania?
  • Did you know William back in England and did he ask for you to emigrate to Tasmania?


  • Do you think your life in Tasmania was an improvement over life in Yorkshire?
  • Who were your parents?
  • How did you get to know Rebecca once you were both in Tasmania?


  • I know your father was William but what was your mother’s full name?
  • How is Sarah (Jane) Steele related to you?
  • What relation was Ann Jackson to you?

This would be an interesting dinner party as William and Caroline were free arrivals to Tasmania while John and Rebecca came at their majesty’s request (convicts). I wonder if this would make any difference to the conversation.  William’s family were into gardening while John was an iron moulder. The Chandler family lived in Sandy Bay while the England family were around Molle St, Barrack St and Goulburn St in South Hobart.

William and Caroline’s daughter Julia married John and Rebecca’s son Henry in 1885. I wonder how the two met. Maybe a local church?

Ethnicity on DNA tests

My regular readers know that I am doing a bit on DNA at the moment. My parents, my brother and I have all tested with Ancestry. But I have also uploaded our raw data to FTDNA and most recently MyHeritage. It is interesting to make comparisons between the different results.

Here are my results:

Ancestry DNA

With Family Tree DNA

With My Heritage DNA

It is the same raw data from Ancestry uploaded to the other two sites. They each use different filters or algorithms to get their results. The only one that really surprises me is the 1% Nigerian with My Heritage. Can’t wait to find out what my dad’s results are with his unknown background.

MyHeritage works on 42 ethnic groups around the world. More information found here.

Ancestry looks at 150+ regions of the world.

Readers: If you have tested and uploaded results to other sites, have you found any interesting results? Are there any other sites I should be uploading my data to and why?

Who lived the longest?

Week 3 of the #52ancestors challenge is longevity. For this post I thought I would do a bit of a survey of my direct ancestors to see who lived a long life and then I would research one of those people.

When I look at that list, I am amazed that 12 out of 19 of my direct ancestors have reached the age of 70+ years at death. What was most fascinating though was that one set of my Great great grandparents lived  to their 80s just like my parents.

William CHANDLER grew up in London near Enfield where he worked as a gardener before arriving in Australia  on the sailing ship Fortitude on 15th February 1855. Little is known of his life prior to his arrival in Tasmania. According to the shipping record, he was age 22, single, Church of England and could read and write. He was born in Middlesex and was a gardener. His application to emigrate was from John Leake in Tasmania and it cost him  £22. [1]

The Leake family owned Rosedale (near Campbell Town) in the midlands area of Tasmania where it is assumed William was an estate gardener, along with James AXTON who also arrived on the same ship. I wrote a short fiction story based on their journey.

After his marriage to Caroline BRYANT in October 1859, he was employed at Government House as a gardener. He was often mentioned in newspaper articles in the Mercury winning many prizes in horticultural fetes. I wrote a short story based on one of these articles. The birth of many children often mentions Government House where Caroline’s mother also worked. By 1865, he is mentioned as an ‘old friend’ who has again won the silver medal at the horticultural fete. In 1868, he is mentioned as gardener to His Excellency who was Colonel Gore Browne. [2]

In March 1873, William and Caroline were involved in the inquest of their daughter Sarah aged 2. At this stage they were living at Hestercombe in the area of Granton or Austin’s Ferry. [3]

In October 1882, William prosecuted John Sullivan for stealing 9 fowls off William, but the judge gave him the benefit of the doubt as only a few feathers were shown as evidence.[4]

It seems that young George Chandler (born 1874) did not enjoy attending school (or preferred helping with the gardening), as his father William was summoned in 1887 for a breach of the Schools Act in allowing George to truant. He was fined 5 shillings. [5]

In 1894, at the marriage of his third daughter Caroline, the family was living at Brown’s River Road. [6]

By the time of William and Caroline’s golden wedding anniversary in 1909, they were living in Grosvenor Street, Sandy Bay just around the corner from what is still Chandler’s Nursery.[7]

William lived at 6 Grosvenor Street, Sandy Bay at his death, and is buried at Cornelian Bay Cemetery with his wife.

To read about the Chandler family and the nursery they established, check out this newspaper account. From my research Mona Vale was built in 1867 so probably not the estate where William worked in the midlands.


[1] Tasmanian Archives and Heritage  Office (TAHO),  CB7/12/1/3 Bk 5 pp 191-192

[2] 1868 ‘GARDENERS’ AND AMATEURS’ HORTICULTURAL AND AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY.’, The Tasmanian Times (Hobart Town, Tas. : 1867 – 1870), 1 April, p. 3. , viewed 16 Jan 2018,

[3] 1873 ‘THE MERCURY.’, The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), 5 March, p. 2. , viewed 16 Jan 2018,

[4] 1882 ‘THE MERCURY.’, The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), 27 October, p. 2. , viewed 16 Jan 2018,

[5] 1887 ‘THE MERCURY.’, The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), 17 June, p. 2. , viewed 16 Jan 2018,

[6] 1894 ‘Family Notices’, The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), 17 November, p. 4. , viewed 16 Jan 2018,

[7] 1909 ‘Family Notices’, The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), 22 October, p. 1. , viewed 16 Jan 2018,


A favourite photo – 4 generations

As the family historian, I am forever being given photos to look after. I will need to spend some time scanning and cataloging them over this coming year. So I have lots of favourite photos but very few have four generations in the one image.  I have chosen this one for this week’s prompt for #52 ancestors.

The four people in this photo are my 1st cousin Bronwyn as a babe in arms, her mother Margaret Phillips nee England holding her, then Margaret’s mother Hannah England nee Davey and finally Hannah’s mother Martha Davey nee Colgrave. The picture was taken on 1 April 1951 on Bronwyn’s christening day.

Margaret died in 2017 and I have written about her in this post.  But today I asked my mother (Margaret’s sister) to tell me something about their mother. Here is some info I was told and have also researched over the years.

Early Life

Hannah England nee Davey was born in 1899 at Englishtown near Blessington in Tasmania. She was the 6th born out of 12 children.

Birth certificate Hannah Davey 1899 TAHO RGD 33/1/87 no 598

Englishtown is near the mountains of the Ben Lomond National Park in north-eastern Tasmania and would have been extremely cold during winter. The closest town is Evandale about 22kms away. Life would have been very hard for this large family. Hannah’s father, George, was mentioned in local papers as tendering for works on the roads near their land, but otherwise was a farmer.

1912 ‘EVANDALE.’, Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 – 1954), 7 March, p. 7. (DAILY), viewed 11 Jan 2018,

Hannah’s father died in November 1914, aged just 49 years. He died at the Launceston General Hospital and was interred in the Presbyterian Burial Ground in Evandale. Hannah’s youngest brother, Frederick, was born just one month before her father’s death so I am sure she would have been expected to help look after him when not at school.


By 1922, Hannah had moved to the big city of Hobart in southern Tasmania. She was working as a housekeeper to the Lord family in Sandy Bay. This was mentioned in the electoral roll of that year as being on the corner of Grosvenor and Lord Streets. Her future husband, Henry Lewis England, also lived in Grosvenor Street with his parents. This is probably how they met.

Hannah and Henry married on 9 May 1923 at the Methodist Church, Longford. The following article was in the Examiner dated 10 May 1923.

The marriage of Hannah, fourth daughter of Mrs. Davey, of Longford, and the late Mr. George Davey, late of Deddington, and Henry L., only son of Mr. HL. England, and the late Mrs. England, of Sandy Bay, Hobart, took place on Wednesday afternoon at the Longford Methodist Church. Rev. George Arthur, M.A., was the officiating minister. The church was charmingly decorated with white roses and chrysanthemums and autumnal leaves by Misses Gladys Wheeler, and Millie Lee. The bride was given away by her young brother (Mr. Bert Davey) in the unavoidable absence of her elder brother (Mr. W. G. Davey, of Hobart). She wore a pretty frock of white organdie muslin embroidered with beads, and a wreath of orange blossoms and veil, the latter being loaned by her cousin (Mrs. Arthur Sherwood). She carried a shower bouquet of choice white flowers, tied with satin streamers. Her only attendant was her sister (Miss Doris Davey, who wore a frock of white crepe merle trimmed with blue. She carried a posey of white blossoms tied with blue streamers, and wore a gold bangle, the gift of the bridegroom. The bride’s brother (Mr. George Davey) supported the bridegroom as best man. Mrs. Davey (mother of the bride) wore a costume of navy blue serge and a black hat. Miss Gould played the “Wedding March” during the signing of the register, and as the newly-wedded couple left the church, Mrs. Davey entertained the bridal party and immediate relatives at wedding tea at the conclusion of the ceremony. Mr. and Mrs. England left for Launceston, and later on the North East Coast. where the honeymoon will be spent. Mrs. England’s travelling dress was a smart navy blue costume, with cream crochet front and a navy blue and gold hat, with Oriental trimmings. She also wore the bridegroom’s gift – a handsome black fur. Her present to him was a pocket wallet and notebook.
Henry Lewis England and Hannah Davey at marriage May 1923 at Methodist Church, Longford, Tasmania.

Family life

Hannah and Henry had three daughters: Iris Alston 1924 – 1934, Margaret Grace 1928 – 2017 and Phyllis Joan born 1934 and still alive with stories to tell. Iris died one month after the birth of Phyllis, so my mum didn’t get to know her eldest sister. These are some memories my mum had about her mother and family life:

  • Hannah enjoyed crocheting and cooking especially fish.
  • She always helped on committees at Sandy Bay Methodist church.
  • We always went to Long Beach for picnics – caught the double decker tram at the bottom of King Street.
  • We had no car and no phone and only once dad had built the new laundry and bathroom did we get hot running water.
  • Hannah chopped off the top of her thumb helping with the new building.
  • We walked everywhere or caught the trams.
  • Hannah’s mum lived with us for six months of the year and the other half with Hannah’s sister Lizzie who lived in Lenah Valley.
  • We grew a lot of our own food and dad had a great peach tree in the backyard.
  • We used to have lots of visitors and cousins (who were back from the war) who would stay with us – Eileen (mentioned in Margaret’s post) stayed for four years while doing her high school study.
  • On Sunday, dad would cook the roast on the fuel stove while we went to church and Sunday School.
  • For tea every Sunday we would have sponge cake and scones and eat at the dining room table rather than the kitchen table. It was a special event.

A few other pictures of Hannah and the family:

Henry Lewis England died in March 1963 aged 74. Nearly four years to the day Hannah died March 1967 aged 67.

Readers: What memories do you have of your grandmother? Or maybe you have a relative called Hannah?